Building Alliances Among Oregon Community Organizations to Engage the Millennial Electorate

June 5, 2015

Driving Votes. Driving Leaders. Driving Change. That’s the rallying cry of the Bus Project, a nonpartisan, nonprofit funded in part by Voqal Fund and based in Portland, Oregon. The Bus Project works to engage and equip millennial voters to become informed activists. The organization also actively partners with other like-minded nonprofits to pool resources and build capacity to reach their targeted demographic.

“Driving Votes” refers to the Bus Project’s commitment to register voters year-round and to remind them to vote at election time.

“Driving Leaders” reflects the organization’s take-charge attitude when it comes to training young leaders who are ready to commit themselves to lives of civic engagement and public service. PolitiCorps, a 10-week summer institute developed and sponsored by the Bus Project, has graduated 151 PolitiCorp Fellows who now work in government and nonprofits and run campaigns that change the world.

“Driving Change” means the Bus Project seeks to help elect forward-thinking candidates across party lines, to support future-minded policy and to build a democracy that is accessible to every one of its citizens.

One of the many ways the Bus Project drives change is by forging alliances with other community organizations aligned with its mission to engage millennial voters. During the last election cycle, the Bus Project worked closely with sister organizations on the Safe Roads Ballot Measure 88 campaign, funded in part by Voqal Fund. Although the ballot measure failed, Bus Project Interim Executive Director Nathan Howard believes alliances like this “set the stage for a strengthened coalition for future legislative and electoral wins for social justice and specifically immigration reform.”